Selava Omar – Xeber24.net – “Agenciess
The Commander of the US Army Central Command (Centcom), General “Kenneth McKinsey”, announced, Thursday, that the number of US forces in Iraq will be reduced to 2,500 in implementation of Trump’s decision, but Baghdad wants the continued US presence to fight ISIS cells.
“McKinsey” said during a videoconference that the US presence has successfully curtailed the activities of Iran and ISIS.
He added that Iran has reduced its attacks recently “based on the hope that we will be asked to leave Iraq through a political process for the Iraqi government.”
He stressed that “the government of Iraq has clearly indicated that it wants to preserve its partnership with the United States and the coalition forces while we continue to end the war against ISIS.”
In a video conference held by the National Council for American-Arab Relations, McKinsey mentioned estimates saying that ISIS still has a force of 10,000 supporters in the regions of Iraq and Syria, indicating that the organization still poses a real threat.
He said, “The progress made by the Iraqi security forces has allowed the United States to reduce its current military capabilities in Iraq.”
But he stressed that US and coalition forces should be there to help prevent the re-formation of ISIS as a cohesive force capable of planning major attacks.
“When you flee for your life in the valley of the Euphrates River and hear the roar of an armed drone MQ flying over you, it is difficult to think of planning attacks against Detroit,” he said.
“MaKinsey” added that the US military presence and measured responses have also succeeded in deterring Iran from continuing to launch attacks on shipping lines in the Gulf, and has limited attacks by its proxies in Iraq.
“I believe today that Iran has been largely deterred, because the regime now realizes that we have both the ability and the will to respond,” he said.